The Best Moments From The Supergirl Series Premiere
It seems like we’ve been waiting for the Supergirl premiere for lightyears, and it’s finally here! The series took flight on CBS last night, and it was everything we could have hoped for.
Sure, it was pilot-y, but it was also full of good old-fashioned fun, an incredibly affable protagonist in Kara Danvers (Melissa Benoist), and the inclusions of some long overdue superheroine butt-kicking on our TV screens. Here are the nine best moments from tonight’s episode…
Kara peaces out of Krypton
One of the most compelling aspects of Kara’s story is that she left Krypton when she was 12. This means that, though she grew up on Earth in many ways, she still remembers and is influenced by her time on her home planet. This also means that, yes, while she has a family in the Danvers of Midvale, she still misses her Kryptonian kin.
As we learn in the pilot’s opening moments, 12-year-old Kara was tasked with the heaviest babysitting job this side of “Adventures in Babysitting.” She is sent from an exploding Krypton to look after her baby cousin Kal-El—aka Superman—on Earth. Her spaceship gets stuck in the phantom zone, which means she doesn’t show up on our planet until after Kal-El has already grown and made a name for himself. That’s OK. Earth has enough problems to go around…
Kara straight-up saves a plane
When the plane Kara’s adopted sister Alex (Chyler Leigh) is flying has electrical failure over National City, Kara doesn’t hesitate to use her dormant powers to save her sister. This has the added consequence of putting her very visibly on the National City radar. Though her sister yells at her for exposing her powers like that, Kara isn’t sorry—which is one of the coolest things about this character. Kara has no qualms with her superhero identity, and there is barely any learning curve whatsoever when it comes to her powers. Helping people comes naturally to this alien woman, and she revels in her purpose.
Kara’s boss is terrible, but we kind of love her
Kara works as the personal assistant to Cat Grant, the CEO and founder of CatCo Worldwide Media. Supergirl is not only the savior to the people on that doomed plane, but to the CatCo employees about to be laid off in a dwindling print market. The appearance of Supergirl, a name Cat christens herself, means more papers sold and the delay of layoffs. It’s pretty cool to see a superhero who isn’t only helping with the more dramatic problems, like plane crashes, but the more mundane and slowly devastating problems, like unemployment.
Kara works with a bunch of hunks
Supergirl is being billed as a workplace drama, in addition to its superhero elements, and, so far, that workplace drama is defined by some hunks. Kara’s work bestie, Winn Schott (played by Broadway star Jeremy Jordan), is the first person outside of her family who learns her secret. He is immediately on board, helping her craft her signature look. He is also seemingly totally in love with her.
Elsewhere in the office is new guy hunk James Olsen (Mehcad Brooks), who also knows Kara’s secret because he was sent to assist her by his friend Superman. (So many hunks, so little time. For the record, we’re declaring ourselves #TeamJara at this time, with the option of switching to #TeamKwinn, of course.)
Earth has #AlienProblems
So, it turns out that, when Kara’s ship came to Earth, it pulled with it a Kryptonian prison ship out of the phantom zone. The metahumans—er, we mean Kryptonian criminals—inside are out for blood. Specifically, Kara’s blood. It was her mother who sentenced these Kryptonian criminals to prison, and they are definitely holding a grudge.
Kara’s sister is tasked with saving the Earth, too
How does Kara find out about all of this? Well, in addition to facing off (and eventually defeating) one of the criminals herself, she is captured by the Department of Extra-Normal Operations—aka the D.E.O.—the organization tasked with combating this threat. At first, Kara is also deemed a threat, but—with the help of her sister, who has secretly been working as a bio-engineer for the group—Kara eventually convinces the D.E.O. that she can help them keep Earth safe.
(Though, seriously, they shouldn’t need that much convincing. Kara is obviously a goddess whose help they are not worthy of, but they will still receive because Kara believes in puppies and rainbows and goodness.)
Kara and Alex are the heart of this show
The chief tension at the heart of this pilot episode—and, presumably, this show—is the relationship between the badass Danvers sisters. It is Kara’s love for her sister that gets her to first use her powers. It is Alex’s love for her sister that convinces the D.E.O. that Kara is an asset rather than a threat.
But their relationship is more complicated than that—as all sibling relationships are. Alex admits that she is jealous of Kara’s powers, and Kara is heartbroken that Alex kept her job with the D.E.O. from her for all of these years. In talking about this show, showrunner Ali Adler says that it is not about one super girl, but two—Kara and Alex—and it is amazing to see strong, flawed, and complex female protagonists here treated not as the exception to the rule, but as a common occurrence.
Kara’s aunt is totally evil
Were you ready for that epilogue tease? It turns out that Kara has another biological family member alive in the form of her aunt—a woman who looks identical to the mother whose death Kara still mourns.
In this Supergirl retelling, the evil aunt seems to be some kind of General Zodd character. Whoever she is, it’s awesome to see a female antagonist in addition to the female protagonist on this show, as well as such a tangible connection to Kara’s past. Here for the Evil Aunt Storyline.
We are so on board with this show
This pilot isn’t making any bold moves (other than the fact that, sadly, casting a woman in its lead is still apparently considered a “bold” move), but there’s still plenty to like about it. Like its Team Berlanti predecessor The Flash, Supergirl appeals to the part of the television-watching audience that could stand to see a little more optimism, hope, and old-fashioned compassion on their screens.
In an age where so much of “heroism” is wrapped up in the ends-justify-the-means logic, it’s refreshing to get another means-justify-the-ends protagonist in cinnamon roll Kara Danvers. Keep on flying, Supergirl. We’re with you.